Jarlet, porcelain, Vietnam, 15th-16th century
This faceted hexagonal jarlet painted in underglazed blue with geometric and stylised floral and leaf designs is one of the various examples produced during the fifteenth to sixteenth century in Vietnam. Vietnamese ceramics were largely influenced by Chinese designs and decoration. This would undoubtedly be the result of the Ming invasion of the country in 1407 and its occupation by the Chinese until 1428. However, they are not slavish copies and have a distinctive Vietnamese quality. While patterns such as floral scroll, the trailing vine with peony, and the geometric design were borrowed from Chinese ceramic decoration, they were never exact duplications.
The large quantity of Vietnamese porcelain from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century can be found in Indonesia and the Philippines. These ceramics were preserved very well because of the local burial customs. However, the founding was declined due to change of customs by arrival of Muslim and Christian influences from late sixteenth century and onward.
This jarlet is a part of Mal Maloney's ceramic collection which comprises classic early Southeast Asian and Chinese ceramics including ceramics from the Sawankalok and Sukhothai kilns in Thailand, Annamese wares from Vietnam and Swatow and Ming Dynasty wares from China. All ceramic wares in this collection were collected in Jakarta betweeen 1968 and 1976. The collection is a good representation of trade wares in Southeast Asia and reflects the development of the ceramic industry and trade within the Asian regions during the thirteenth century and seventeenth century. This group of ceramic ware was probably exported to Indonesia via a sea trade route when Thailand became deeply involved in the long-distance ceramic trade.
Curator Asian Arts & Design
Ref: Richard, Dick, South-East Asian Ceramics: Thai, Vietnamese, and Khmer, Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur, 1995
This blue and white Vietnamese jarlet is one of the examples produced during fifteen to sixteen century in Vietnam. Many of these ceramics have been preserved and retrieved from burial sites in Indonesia and Philippines (Nguyen-Long, 1999, 5).
In general, there is a lack of chronology for Vietnamese wares from the 14th to the 17th centuries because ¬?of the internal homogeneity of the wares and the scarcity of archaeological data¬? (Brown, 1988, 27). However, it is likely that these trade wares were made in the north in Hai Duong province, which is relatively close to the trading port of Van Don, and at Go Shnh in central Vietnam (Nguyen-Long, 1999, 5).
In addition, the ceramics produced in this period are most famed for their blue-and-white wares. The origin of this method of decoration is uncertain, but probably coincides with the Ming invasion of northern Vietnam in 1407. With the introduction of cobalt for underglaze painted decoration, the underglaze iron black and monochrome wares quickly began to disappear (Brown, 1988, 25).
Vietnamese ceramics were largely influenced by Chinese designs and decoration.However, they are not salvish copies and have a distinctive Vietnamese quality. While pattersn such as floral scorll and geometric design were borrowed from Chinese ceramic decoration, they were never exactly duplicated.
The collection was purchased from the 'Tukang' tade people in Jakarta, Indonesia by its donor, Mal Maloney of Sydney.
Mal Maloney says 'All the ceramics were acquired in Jakarta during the time I was working there during the period of 1968 -1976. We developed an interest in these items because our Chief geologist, Dean Frasche, was a college and a well known authority on SEA ceramics and he was always identifying pieces and explaining their origin and age. All pieces were bought over many years from 'Tukangs' or tradesmen who brought their wares to our house and offered them for sale. All were the subject of the usual Asian bargaining process, sometimes for as long as 20 minutes per piece!"